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Reviewed: Borderlands GOTY
Author:Michael Ahlf
Time for a Quickie Review.

A short while back, Gamestop tossed out a bone to gamers: Borderlands GOTY edition (with all 4 DLC packs) for $20.

So, I bit. Why not. It was one of those games that had slipped past me earlier on, mostly because it was essentially an MMORPG-style game that was 99% designed for multiplayer and there were plenty of other interesting games available.

Now, I've played it. Make no mistake: the developers did a bang-up job with this one. Humor all over the place, explosions, very interesting graphic style. The "Hi, you have a voice in your head" method of narration and keeping the player vaguely on-task is a nice touch.

Of course, it's not without its quirks. While Borderlands is "playable" as a solo experience, it's not very much fun. Running around, shooting stuff that looks like it walked out of Cthulhu's doghouse, shooting humans, grabbing what drops, selling it off... see, it really does just feel like an MMORPG.

Once you get a couple of players together, it's a much more rewarding experience. Working as teams, it's a lot easier to take things down, a lot easier to coordinate fire and match weapons up.

Are there downsides? You bet. The chief annoyance is trying to remember whose character is lowest level; if they're not hosting the game, then their missions aren't getting flagged complete in the game's bizarrely programmed system. Why they didn't program the game to automatically default to the lowest player's missions and/or offer an override, I'm not sure. Welcome to the land of "weird developer questions."

Other than that - Dying isn't the problem it would seem. Sure, you'll lose some cash being restored at the last save point, but the enemies you've killed pretty much stay dead (at least, boss-related enemies). On one of the early bosses, I was actually able to exploit the system, shooting him from outside the fight zone after being restored to avoid taking a large amount of damage. It worked, and I'm not proud of it, but hey, I lived and he didn't.

Am I going to keep playing? Every now and then, when I can get a buddy onto Xbox Live for an hour or three. It's good on that front, though I can't imagine an all-night session; after a while, sadly, the missions start to get repetitive.

So - final score? 4 of 5. It's good, but not "My god, gotta have it, gotta play it all the time" good.

Added:  Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf


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